SU International have published a paper which explores our ministry to children and the theology that supports it... how what we know of God guides the way we bring children the Good News and the way in which we help them grow in Jesus.
This summary introduces the main themes of the paper and the renewed commitment of SU around the world.
Jesus loves children
What does the Bible say about children? Does God see them the same way as he sees adults? When Jesus came to earth. He showed a real love for children, though a lot of adults did not think children counted for much. He felt for them, included them and wished good things for them.
Children are growing up
As they grow, children are developing a sense of right and wrong, and an ability to respond to God. As we share the Good News we need to remember that they are still in the process of developing. We should not expect responses from them that are more suited to adults.
Families are so important
Children who grow up in Christian homes often have the opportunity to respond to Jesus, who they come to know through the Bible, till at last an adult faith is reached. Children who do not come from Christian homes are in a place of real spiritual danger. Where we can, we must try to bring the good news to them, for they need it so much. God has set children in families and has framed links of love and guidance, with their need to obey, in the family setting. We must not lose sight of this. To bring the good news to families is then, what we are called to do: not, if it can be avoided, to children on their own. If children, Mum and Dad turn to Jesus at the same time, the whole family is made rich. If this does not happen, God still calls us to bring the good news to children on their own.
Children should be free
Children cannot be neatly put in boxes. We must make sure they are free to be who they are, and we must make room for the Spirit to work in them as He wills.
- We must care for all children
- We want hurting children to be set free, especially from overwork and all kinds of abuse.
A call to press on
We must bring the Good News to children and their families; leading them to Jesus when we can, teaching them the Christian faith as fully as we can, and seeing that they come to know the warmth of a local church where we can. We have been trying to do children's ministry now for 135 years. The International Council now calls on SU around the world to press on with this work amongst children - the very first ministry it was called to do - with hard work, strong hearts and deep trust in God. First, we give ourselves to bringing the good news to children and their families who do not know Jesus, doing this with care and skill. Secondly, we help believing children to grow, through grasping God's Word so that they come to serve Him with all their hearts.
The paper also explores the different views about sin and children, what happens when children die and what it means to be like them. There is detail on how to bring the Good News to children in a good way, that honours God. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the complete version of "Scripture Union's Ministry to Children: A Theology of Childhood", a resource paper published by SU International.